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University of Tennessee
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University of Tennessee

Type of Program and Degrees Offered

The Musicology Area is part of the School of Music, in turn a unit of the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Tennessee. The Musicology Area offers programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels: the B.A. in Music & Culture and the M.M. in Musicology. Both programs integrate ethnomusicology and historical musicology, in coursework, methodology, and participating faculty. Students are encouraged to employ anthropological, historical, and performative approaches in studying and encountering music as a dynamic cultural form, intimately in dialogue with the society from which it comes. Students pursuing a Master’s of Music with a concentration in Musicology may simultaneously obtain a Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies, Women’s Studies, Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Linguistics, or Music Theory Pedagogy. Students pursuing a B.A. in Music and Culture may combine the degree with an interdisciplinary minor or a double major if they wish, drawing upon the rich offerings of the university as a whole. Such secondary specializations may include Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Business, Cinema Studies, Global Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American Studies, Legal Studies, Medieval Studies, Women’s Studies, and many others. In both cases, the wide resources of the University are available to students for further interdisciplinary work in a variety of areas including social sciences, humanities, arts and languages.

Program Focus

At the Master’s level, we offer an integrated program that encompasses both ethnomusicology and historical musicology. Students may specialize in any of the methodologies or approaches entailed. At the Bachelor’s level, we offer an innovative, liberal arts focused degree in Music and Culture, which situates the academic study of music and performance within a strong interdisciplinary framework. Program areas of strengths include American popular forms, Appalachian music, African diasporic musics, film music, jazz studies, Latin American musics, music and technoculture, gender theory, performance theory, and sound studies.

Special Resources

The School of Music features the extensive holdings of the George F. Devine Music Library, a comprehensive collection of over 56,000 items, including scores, books, microfilm, sound and video recordings, CD-ROMs, and Internet access resources. The main Hodges Library offers extensive resources across disciplines, and UT’s media production lab, The Studio. UT’s Special Collections holds rare books, maps, prints, and manuscripts with strengths in regional history and culture. Holdings include Davy Crockett Almanacs, The Great Smoky Mountains Regional Collection, North American Indian materials, travel accounts, 19th century American literature, 18th and 19th century hymnbooks and shape-note songbooks, works of William Congreve and Jane Austen, diaries and correspondences from the Civil War, manuscripts of film director Clarence Brown and of authors James Agee, Evelyn Scott, and Alex Haley. 

Knoxville and its surroundings is home to the archives and museums of the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Museum of Appalachia (Clinton, Tenn.). Knoxville is home to Friends of the New Harp of Columbia Shape Note Singers, the historic Laurel Theatre, the historic Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville Opera, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, a large variety of music clubs, and numerous other organizations of cultural and musical interest. The vast musical, cultural, and historical resources of Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta, Georgia, and Cherokee, North Carolina are within easy driving distance of a few hours. 

Each year the Musicology Area invites outstanding scholars and performers from around the country and abroad to participate in the Distinguished Lecture Series. Our guests present lectures, concerts, and interactive workshops that demonstrate the best of current music research. Past participants have included Alash Ensemble, Jeff Titon, Alejandro Madrid, Mark O'Connor, Paul Thebérge, A.J. Racy, Aaron Fox, and others. 

The University of Tennessee is a regular and active participant in the national and regional meetings of Society for Ethnomusicology, the American Musicology Society, and the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology

Jacqueline Avila, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, Assistant Professor, Musicology. Specializations: Mexican modernism, nationalism, Latin American and Iberia, and cinema and media studies.

Leslie C. Gay, Jr., Ph.D., Columbia University. Associate Professor, Musicology. Specializations: Ethnomusicology; American music; music and technoculture; sound studies; indie rock musicians in New York City; music publishing in the 19th-century United States; the reception of African American music in Denmark.

Rachel Golden, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Associate Professor, Musicology. Specializations: Gender theory; performance studies; music, religion & devotion; multimedia & performance art; American music; medieval music & western art music. 

Affiliated Faculty

Sean McCollough. B.A. and M.M., University of Tennessee. Lecturer, Musicology. Specializations: American music, especially music of Appalachia, folk, rock, and bluegrass.

Ryan McCormack, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin. Lecturer,  Musicology. Specializations: Ethnomusicology; jazz studies; Eastern Europe; modernity; critical studies & philosophy. 

General Program Statement

The Musicology area of the School of Music encourages students to approach music as a culturally expressive form, engage with the musical richness of our world, and develop their own musical identities within an increasingly interconnected globe. Courses variously emphasize music cultures and repertories, theory and methodology, and analytical techniques. Our programs also create a framework for students to pursue performance experiences as a means to understand music as part of culturally- and historically-situated forms.

We provide opportunities for personal mentoring and flexible curricula that can be tailored to suit individual interests. Graduates of our programs are prepared to enter careers in music and related fields, pursue further graduate studies, lead enriched musical lives, and understand music’s social roles and expressive significance.

The University of Tennessee’s Master’s in Musicology integrates historical musicology and ethnomusicology with faculty specializations that include American popular forms, Appalachian music, African diasporic musics, film music, jazz studies, Latin American musics, music and technoculture, gender theory, performance theory, and sound studies. Courses and seminars adopt a range of approaches, variously emphasizing theory and methodology, historical styles, analytical techniques, and social, intellectual, and cultural contexts. 

At the undergraduate level, our innovative B.A. in Music & Culture concentration offers students the opportunity to study music through scholarly research, criticism, and interpretation. The B.A. degree features a liberal arts focus that emphasizes music’s role as an expression of the culture from which it comes. The curriculum includes courses in ethnomusicology, historical musicology, music theory, culture and society, and performance. Graduates may continue to advanced graduate degrees in ethnomusicology or historical musicology, or pursue related music careers in music librarianship, journalism, publishing, or media industries, among others.

Financial Support

Graduate students may apply for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship in Musicology, which is awarded on a competitive basis and features a tuition waiver, medical coverage, and $5300 stipend per year. Graduate students, and selected undergraduates, are eligible to apply to work as Musicology Graders, which have the potential to yield pay up to $4240 per year. Graduate Students are encouraged to apply for a variety of other fellowship and assistantship opportunities administered through the University’s Graduate School (http://gradschool.utk.edu/gradfund.shtml). Qualified undergraduates may audition for performance-based scholarship funds, which normally carry a requirement of regular ensemble performance, and may apply for merit-based or need-based awards through the Office of Financial Aid (see "Related Websites" for URL). Additionally, both undergraduate and graduate students are consider for School of Music scholarships as part of the admissions process. 

Further Information

Dr. Rachel Golden, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Musicology, The University of Tennessee, School of Music, 117 Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, 1741 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996-2600 USA. Phone: 865-974-8054; Email: rmgolden@utk.edu

Program Website

Musicology Area: http://web.utk.edu/~musicol/

Ethnomusicology Student Group

The Music and Culture Society: http://www.facebook.com/groups/313448565679/ 

Related Websites

University of Tennessee, School of Music: http://www.music.utk.edu
Office of Financial Aid: http://web.utk.edu/~finaid/
George F. Devine Music Library: http://www.lib.utk.edu/music/
The Studio (Media Production Lab): http://www.lib.utk.edu/studio/
Ready for the World: http://rftw.utk.edu
Study Abroad: https://studyabroad.utk.edu
Interdisciplinary Programs: http://artsci.utk.edu/academic-programs/interdisciplinary-programs/
East Tennessee Historical Society: http://www.east-tennessee-history.org/
Museum of Appalachia: http://www.museumofappalachia.org/
Friends of the New Harp of Columbia Shape Note Singers: http://www.oldharp.org/
Laurel Theatre: http://www.jubileearts.org/laurel.htm
Tennessee Theatre: http://www.tennesseetheatre.com/
Bijou Theatre: http://www.knoxbijou.com

The content for University of Tennessee was last updated November 14, 2014.

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